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Zimbabwe celebrates the honouring of a hero without bones

25 May 2021 at 10:33hrs | Views
The 25th May 2021 marks the day the imposing wonderful statute of Nehanda Nyakasina is unveiled. Nehanda has become the symbol of Zimbabwe.s liberation struggle. She has cultivated the spirit of freedom in the hearts of many Zimbabweans. She has led her army of freedom fighters from her humiliation in the museum in the museum of human body parts in the United Kingdom. Hers is a freedom beyond the enemy lines. Nehanda taught us many things from the dead. She has taught us that from the bondage and humiliation of being displayed in a foreign land as a symbol of defeat in the victory she led, she saw us through to this day.

The words of Nehanda to Zimbabweans are selfless and never selfish. Just towards her death words which resonate with her were being proclaimed at an occasion like this one today. In America at the unveiling of the statue of liberty which showed a woman holding a flame, these words were said as the last line of an October 1886 Statue of Liberty dedication speech read: "There is room in America and brotherhood for all who will support our institutions and aid in our development. But those who come to disturb our peace and dethrone our laws are aliens and enemies forever"

Nehanda said the similar words as the white men came in Zimbabwe; she said again at her death that my bones will rise again. This cry became the battle cry and indeed these words helped and strengthened our people our soldiers until freedom. As in the case of the three Hebrews in the fiery fire furnace, when they were saved from the furnace they forgot the one who saved them in the furnace. So as Zimbabweans today they have left the bones which grew in them in a museum in England. This is a Shame on us all.

Mbuya Nehanda's statute will Not be like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; It will gracefully look over us from two main streets but with dignity and honour. A mighty woman with fire, whose flame torched the colonisers out of Zimbabwe, whose bones ironically remain, trapped in the land of her killers.

Is the imprisoned lightning and her name Nehanda Nyakasikana will remain entrenched in the lips of those who needed her most? Nehanda remains exiled by those she liberated and her name now is Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-arms country-wide welcome; her mild eyes command the air-bridged cross roads that twin roads frame. "Keep, my bones, your storied pomp!" cries she with silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your streets. Send these, the homeless, tempest-toast to me, together with my bones screamed Nehanda.

It is now almost a century and a half years since the great Grandmother the first woman commander was murdered, having given continual, dedicated service to this country.

The completion of a fitting memorial that not only commemorates the life of someone who was held in such deep affection throughout Zimbabwe and the entire Africa, but also commemorates the life and unflinching contribution of the great she warrior is a cause for celebration and joyful nostalgia. The unveiling of the statute is not a small thing it is the greatest honour which took us forty one years to realise.

At long last the nation and Mbuya Nehanda are reunited in this joint symbol which, in particular, reminds us of all they stood for, and meant to so many, during the darkest days this country has ever faced. But the statute alone will need the confirmation of the bones, they need to be together. This is an incomplete fete.

Today we celebrate with joy mingled with sadness, but also intense gratitude for the role she performed with such consummate grace and inspiration. Yet a question rings loudly in our minds, where are the risen bones?

All of those to gather there today will, I know, will need the bones to be under the shadow of the statute. We all remember Nehanda's vitality, her interest in the lives of others, her unbounded courage and determination that allowed her – incredibly – to continue her military life to the very end of her life. her perceptive and spiritual wisdom, her calm in the face of all adversities, her steadfast belief in her bones and her people and, above all, her irresistible, irrepressible sense of valour and strength. These are the qualities and characteristics we recall today with love, pride and thanksgiving. Yet the bones are not there.

Zimbabwe must look beyond the statute, we need to do what is right and bring them back home. Why we are not worried.

In the land of the Mbaris vasingarare, there are missing bones. Have we told chief Mbari about our act of goodness and erecting this spiritual statute in the shadows of the unrecognised chief with no land?

Bring back Nehanda's bones they are yearning to come home.

Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
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